Why MTN is declaring loss


MTN boss Rob Shuter

Telecommunication giant, MTN Group is expecting to declare loss for 2016.The company said on Wednesday the loss is not unconnected to a $1bn regulatory fine in Nigeria and for under-performance both in Nigeria and South Africa.

MTN had agreed in June to pay Nigeria a N330bn ($1.05bn at the time) fine for missing a deadline to cut off unregistered SIM cards from its network.

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Shares in MTN, which fell more than 4 percent at market open, were 3.82 per cent lower at 113.25 rand at 07:33 a.m., its lowest level since December.

MTN is the largest mobile phone company in Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy, and accounts for a third of MTN’s revenue.

It said the net effect of the Nigerian fine for the year ended December was a negative impact of 474 cents per share.

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MTN will issue a further trading statement on the likely range within which its headline loss is expected.

Underlying operational results for full-year 2016 were also affected by fees incurred for a planned listing in Nigeria.

The result also showed MTN under-performance of its units both in Nigeria and in South Africa in the first half of 2016.

MTN said it aims to list its Nigerian operations on the local bourse during 2017, subject to market conditions.

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However, the unit has been battered by the weak economy, depreciation of the naira and the disconnection of 4.5 million subscribers in February 2016.

The Naira lost a third of its official value against the dollar in 2016 after the central bank scrapped its currency peg in a bid to alleviate dollar shortages.

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